Faculty and Staff Hurricane Preparedness Guide
The faculty and staff hurricane preparedness guide was created to help you prepare accordingly in the event of a hurricane. Please carefully read the recommendations provided and take the necessary steps to help ensure that you are prepared to continue operations during and after a disaster.
This guide outlines the steps that IT takes for Disaster Recovery. IT refers to Disaster Recovery as the process and procedures that are related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure only. Departments are responsible for their own business continuity plans should the campus applications and/or systems be down.
Update your CougarAlert emergency contact information:
Prior to the storm, be sure that your CougarAlert information is up-to-date in MyCharleston. CougarAlert will relay emergency information through phone calls, emails, and text messages using the contact information that you have listed in MyCharleston.
- The College will communicate important updates and information with you via the CougarAlert. Be sure that your contact information is correct so that you are receiving these important notices in the event of an emergency.
- For a tutorial on how to update your CofC CougarAlert information, please visit: blogs.cofc.edu/it/2013/08/29/update-your-cougar-alert-information/.
Save your College-related data to the College’s user drive:
All of your College data should be saved to the user drive (U:drive) that IT provides to all employees. The College’s U:drive is for official College business only. Please do not upload your iTunes library, personal pictures, etc. to the user drive. Also, do not save your entire local drive to the user drive - only College-related data please.
- If you only save data to your local drive (ex. C:drive) and your computer is damaged, the files on the computer may NOT be accessible. IT encourages you to always save college-related data to your U:drive whether or not a storm is approaching. If you save your files to the U:drive then you can access them from any computer connected to the network. IT also performs disaster recovery backups on the U:drive on a daily basis to provide a means to restore data that has been lost or corrupted. IT will notify you when they start the final backup of the U:drive to an offsite location prior to a hurricane.
- Plan accordingly for any files that you may need to access and edit during and after a storm. IMPORTANT: The U:drive may NOT be available during a hurricane depending upon the severity of a storm. The files may not be accessible until the campus is operational again. If you need to access certain files in your U:drive during and after a storm, IT suggests that you save those files to an encrypted USB flash drive and take it with you.
- You can access the tutorial on how to save files to your U:drive and more detailed information is avaialble at it.cofc.edu/computing/storage/index.php.
- Purchase an encrypted flash drive (such as the Lexar Echo ZX USB) to store any files that you may need to access and edit during and after a storm. You can purchase an encrypted flash drive through eProcure. Please contact helpdesk if you need assistance.
Keep your computer equipment safe:
If a hurricane becomes a threat to the campus, you should take the necessary steps outlined below to protect your computer equipment and hardware located in your office at that time. IT will protect the computer equipment and hardware located in the classrooms, labs, and server rooms that are at-risk only. If you’d like to know more about IT’s process for classrooms and labs, please contact Helpdesk@cofc.edu.
You are responsible for ensuring that your office computer equipment and hardware are protected. IT will be focusing on protecting the computer equipment and hardware located in the at-risk classrooms and labs.
We’re happy that you asked. IT will send out an official message alerting you to proceed with the following computer preparations at that time:
- Unplug your desktop computer and equipment (printers, scanners, etc.) from the electrical outlets as well as the data jacks. (Make a note of which data jack you removed the cable from because not all of them are activated.)
- Move any computer equipment and any hardware away from windows and areas which are prone to possible flooding or leaks.
- Cover your computer and other equipment with a trash bag. Do you have trash bags on hand? If not, purchase them from Central Stores now.
Know which applications MAY and MAY NOT be available during a hurricane and plan accordingly:
In the event of a hurricane and depending upon the severity, certain campus resources may NOT be available or have certain limitations (such as you can access the file but cannot edit it). Usually, if applications are hosted on campus (i.e. databases and servers are stored in the Bell Building) then the applications may not be available a short time before, during and after the hurricane. If applications are hosted (meaning that they are stored in another location off campus) then the applications will most likely not be affected.
IT has compiled a list of applications and resources that may and may not be available during a storm. It is your responsibly to become familiar with this list and plan accordingly. The College could re-open after a hurricane but campus resources such as OAKS may not be available if the server room (where the hardware for the system is located) is damaged. You can review the list of applications at the end of this document.
Review some other helpful tips:
If you hold physical installation media to non-enterprise software, consider making a copy of it, if you are licensed to do so. IT does not keep copies of software purchased by individuals or departments.
After the storm and the power is back on, wait until there are no blackouts or surges before plugging your equipment back in. Be sure that critical equipment has a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) attached.
Do NOT use web server space to backup your data.
If you do not have a second email address such as gmail or hotmail, take the time to create another email account. The College’s employee email (Outlook) may not be available during and after a storm.
Talk to your students and/or staff about the procedures on how to contact them in case of an emergency. Be sure to store your emergency contacts in a safe place and make sure that you can access it from off campus. Remember that CofC email and phone may be down.
Review readiness guidelines for personal safety at ready.gov/hurricanes.
If you teach, ask your students to read the Student Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
Please note: Depending on the severity of the storm, this list is subject to change. There are many uncertainties about what will be available/functioning and not available/functioning during and after a hurricane, including power, campus internet services and internet service providers throughout the the region.
The following is the list of campus applications that may NOT be available:
College hosted applications may be affected by a hurricane and may NOT be available during a hurricane. Please plan accordingly and do not rely on the below applications before, during, and immediately after a storm:
- OAKS Learning Management System
- Stream (video server)
- Outlook Email (employee email system)
If you have a question about the availability of a specific application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need access to the specific files during or immediately after a hurricane, be sure to save the files that you will need to an encrypted USB drive. Always plan ahead.
The following is the list of applications that will likely be available:
There are applications that are hosted off campus and in the event of a storm will likely remain available accessible from the web and the product’s homepage. These include:
- Google Apps (Drive, student email, etc.)
Some applications in which you’ve purchased a license for or are using a free account should remain available through the product’s homepage. Examples include:
The following is the list of campus applications that will likely be available but may have editing limitations:
Some of these hosted solutions should remain available during an outage, however they may not be available to edit as they require a login that depends on the College’s Active Directory (AD) which is on campus.
- College Content Management System (Cascade Server)
- Blogs (Wordpress)
- Google Drive
If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com or contact us at 3-3375.